Monday, April 16, 2012

Pretty Prospect Park

What a gorgeous day!  I decided to expand my horizons and head to Prospect Park on my own.  I got a pdf map to hopefully prevent myself from getting too lost.  As soon as I arrived, this mute swan greeted me prettily.

Mute Swan

There were several red-winged blackbirds singing and flying around (I only saw the males) and robins everywhere.  As I wandered around aimlessly on a treed lawn, this palm warbler flew right over and posed for me.
Palm Warbler
And then this kinglet!  This was quite a good spot!  :-)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
I walked all around the lake, where the ruddy ducks were diving madly.  Hahahahaha, look at that bright blue beak!!!!  No, that is not photoshopped in there - it really is that color in real life!  I love, love, love ruddy ducks.
Ruddy Duck
Several coots were hanging out with the Canada geese, they are not shy here.  This one came right over to see if I had any tasty morsels for it.
American Coot
I watched these tree swallows for a while, trying to figure out where their "home base" was.  This picture makes me want a better camera.
Tree Swallows
Apparently the swallows were watching me too......  :-)
Tree Swallow
Goldfinches!  The camera refused to focus on the gorgeous bright male, but was happy enough to focus on the female.  I don't know if they are eating something there or if they are making a nest, there were two females and one male there for quite some time.  I got distracted by.......
American Goldfinches
..... this gorgeous hawk flying right over me!  It was nice and low, what a great view!  This picture is about as good as it gets with this camera.  Again, this picture makes me want a better camera......
Red-tailed Hawk
This swan breezed by in classic swan fashion, I loved the way it looked through the reeds.  I think this one is a juvenile, almost grown up now.
Mute Swan
There is a bunch of construction going on, and this snapping turtle was really annoyed it couldn't get to the other side of the fence.  I was hoping it would start biting the fence, but it didn't.  Well, that I could see, anyway.
Snapping Turtle
An egret in a tree!  It struck me as a snowy egret but looking at the picture I'm not convinced, it looks more like a great egret.  So, an egret of indeterminate type.
American black ducks swimming.
American Black Ducks
Their mating is not as romantic as mallards.  There was no chasing exactly, they were just sort of milling about and then the male just sort of jumped onto the female's back.  Also, there was no privacy and sometimes seemed like a group activity.  The female did not complain or try to get away though.  But is it really necessary for them to keep dunking her?  Seems rude.......
American Black Ducks

So Prospect Park is quite different from Central Park.  It's much larger and less crowded, and the demographics (at least today in that section) were quite different.  Lots of men fishing, not many women.  A few kids, mostly concentrated in a couple of small areas.  Not as many places to get sodas and hot dogs.  A great place to explore!

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